Simple Sheet of Paper Keeps Produce Fresh 4 Times Longer

© FreshPaper

Berries turning to moldy mush, dying an ignoble death in the blink of an eye; beautiful greens transforming into brown slimy leaves; mushroom sprouting new forms of fuzzy life within their gills -- these are the tragedies that befall too many a kitchen. In fact, 25 percent of the world's food supply is lost to spoilage.

The Massachussets-based company, Fenugreen, aims to address this waste with its simple innovation, FreshPaper. Fenugreen was founded by two friends, Kavita M Shukla, inventor of FreshPaper, and Swaroop Samant, a medical doctor. Kavita developed and patented FreshPaper while in high school, after she stumbled upon its spices and botanicals in a medicinal hot drink given to her by her grandmother in India to prevent a reaction to contaminated tap water.

The five-inch square paper is comprised of edible organic botanical extracts, and is simply placed into refrigerator drawers, cartons, bags and containers with produce. With no zeolite, sodium permanganate, charcoal, or plastic, a sheet extends produce life by two to four times.

The simple magic happens thanks to a secret mix of herbs -- similar to what are used for medicinal purposes -- that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth, as well as degradative enzymes. Sheets can be used and reused over the course of two or three weeks and then composted.

FreshPaper has launched in Whole Foods Market stores across the entire Northeast and North Atlantic regions this month. Said Shukla of the partnership with Whole Foods:

We sell FreshPaper to make it available to those who need it most. We’re excited to partner with Whole Foods Market because of the opportunity to develop our ‘Buy One, Give One’ program [for every package sold, Fenugreen will donate one to food banks or nonprofits in less-economically developed countries] and bring FreshPaper to all -- ​the 1.6 billion people living without refrigeration in the developing world, as well as food banks and food pantries here at home that struggle to provide fresh, healthy food to the hungry.

​​​The award-winning product has received international recognition for its potential to change how the world keeps its food fresh. It will retail at Whole Foods Market stores in packs of 8 sheets for $4.99.

Tags: Cooking | Fruits & Vegetables | Vegetarian | Waste Not Want Not

Best of TreeHugger